top of page

Striking Balance Guitar Stand

Check out the full report! ➡️



Full Design and Fabrication


7 weeks


Fusion360, Mill, Lathe, Lasercutter, Table Router, Drill Press, Bandsaw


This was the final project for my Product Realization class. The prompt was to create a personally meaningful object using shop techniques. At the time, the beautiful Fender I got for Christmas was relegated to leaning precariously on the edge of my desk, which I wanted to fix.


Create a guitar stand that is beautiful, structurally robust, and meaningful to me. 

Also make sure it can be disassembled so it's not too bulky for when I have to move out of my dorm.


A guitar stand that represents the korean flag and the confluence of chaos and order that is music. Handcrafted from finished poplar, cherry wood, 4041 aluminum bar stock and some screws.


I sketched out some initial ideas and made a few measurements for future reference. I originally planned to make a matching trumpet stand, but sadly it ended up being beyond the scope of the project.

Initially, I prototyped with foam and cardboard in order to answer a few questions: 

-How big should the stand be?

-At what angle should the guitar be supported?

-How should I attach the two support legs and the back leg of the stand?

My second prototype was made from wood, using the angles and dimensions I got from my first prototype.


The main goal was to prove that the materials and dimensions worked and that screws could attach the leg/posts well enough to support my guitar (screws worked great).

This prototype worked so well that I saved it and still use it to hold my acoustic back home!

With dimensions in order, it was straight to CAD.

As you can see, the yin/yang design was NOT present in the original mockup.

That design came through a happy accident, when I couldn't find a big enough piece of scrapwood in the workshop and had no choice but to use two smaller pieces attached together.

"How could I make this constraint aesthetically pleasing?" I thought to myself.

I came up with a yin/yang joint shape.

I was thrilled because it introduced to my piece the symbolic meaning of both the Korean flag that represents my heritage and the yin/yang symbol which evokes the balanced chaos and order of music itself.

Next up, fabrication.

I started by using the mill and lathe to make the rear leg and front posts from 1in diameter 4041 aluminum bar stock.

Making these 3 parts took me around ~20 hrs.

Here's why:

-Determining the order of operations is imperative. Once aluminum is cut off the bar stock there's no going back. So I moved slow.

-Fixturing takes a long time, and if the piece isn't properly secured, someone could get seriously hurt.

-I broke a drill tap inside one of my posts and had to completely refabricate it. It happens! I'm just lucky I had some extra bar stock on hand.

-When shaping such a long piece on the lathe, much wiggling can occur despite proper fixturing. Thus, the piece came out pretty rough, which made sanding take a bit longer as well. Look how scratched up the bar I'm holding in the picture is vs. the final piece. It's all about progress!

I saved my favorite part (woodworking) for last.

I lasercut the yin/yang shapes, eager to use the shapes as a tracing aid to attach to the wood.

The table router was supposed to swiftly cut out perfect tracings from the wood, but things did not go as planned.


4 separate times, the table router bit onto each piece and chucked the mangled wood piece across the room.

I learned that "router table tearout" occurs when the wood grain being cut is oriented such that the "straws" of the wood get caught in the cutter. Because of the tight curves of my piece, the job was impossible on the table router.

Defeated by the router table, I resorted to sanding down the wood by eye, just hoping that the precise yin/yang joint would fit at the end. It ended up working perfectly on the first try.

The final step was just to glue the joint and finish the wood with some linseed oil.


Lessons Learned:


-Proper fixturing is key!

-I should always go very slow when tapping, and have extra material ready in case I break a drill tap in my piece.

-Table routers can be very picky about the orientation of wood grain, throwing and mangling four of my perfectly crafted wood pieces before I realized the table router might be the wrong tool for the job.

-Expect the unexpected. Not having big enough wood pieces to finish a project. Breaking a drill tap, ruining a crucial part. The table router mangling 4 perfect wood pieces. Getting COVID about a week before the project is due. Something always happens, so just be prepared to keep truckin'!

The End!

bottom of page